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Shaare Tefila Congregation

Nov 8, 2020 - Nov 19, 2020

Explore Israel!
Led by Rabbi Jonah Layman
Explore a variety of Israel’s cultures; experience Tel Aviv’s trend-setting arts scene; learn from Israel’s thought-leaders; encounter the Negev Desert’s wonders; Shabbat in the Holy City of Jerusalem
Sunday, November 8, 2020
  • Departure from the United States.
Day 1
Monday, November 9, 2020

Note: The first day’s itinerary is subject to change depending on the flight arrival.

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, with assistance by a Makor Educational Journeys representative.
  • Proceed to Tel Aviv.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Walking tour of Jaffa, one of the most ancient cities in the world, including Biblical vignettes, the role of Jaffa as gateway to the Middle East, the great return of Jews to these shores beginning in 1881, and the struggle of two peoples to live together.
  • Welcome dinner in Jaffa and introduction to the program.
Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 2
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Return to the early days of Tel Aviv at the Pri-Or Photo House (Zalmania), established in 1940 by Rudi Weissenstein, a freelance photographer who, for over forty years, explored the country’s every nook and cranny, documenting both the daily life of private citizens and the grander moments in the development of the State of Israel.
  • Using poetry, prose and visual aids, explore the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, founded in 1887 to escape the crowded living quarters of Jaffa. Within a decade it became the center of Jewish Jaffa’s public and cultural life; many of the neighborhood’s turn-of-the-century houses can still be seen.  Early residents included Nobel Prize winning author S. Y. Agnon, Israel’s national poet Chaim Nahman Bialik and the painter Nachum Guttman.
  • Lunch on own at HaTachana, the old Jaffa railway station that has been renovated into a stylish and open, pedestrian-only complex that houses shops, restaurants, arts shows & classes, two weekly markets and lots of other events – while preserving the original design of the buildings.
  • Specially guided tour at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, which promotes peacebuilding between Israel and its neighbors (particularly between Israelis and Palestinians) as well as between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel, and presents the journey from the early days of the State to the Startup Nation of today and beyond.
  • Dinner and evening on own .
Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 3
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Using literature, songs, newspaper clippings and photos “meet” thinkers, writers, artists, musicians and politicians at Tel Aviv’s Pantheon, the Trumpeldor St. Cemetery that contains the graves of the leading figures in Israel over recent generations, including those who laid the foundations for the new Hebrew settlement in Jaffa and builders of the city of Tel Aviv.
  • At the Nalaga’at Center, home to the Deaf-Blind Theater and founded on the basic belief that every human being has the right to contribute to the society in which s/he lives, take part in a sculpting-in-the-dark workshop for a glimpse into how various senses compensate for each other.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Guided walk through the Kiryat Hamelacha, the heart of the local art scene, to visit galleries and exhibitions for an insider’s view of the ever-changing contemporary Israeli art scene that reflects the local temperament and issues alongside the hottest world art trends.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 4
Thursday, November 12, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit Kuchinate, an African Refugee Women’s Collective, for an opportunity to engage with members of the collective and hear from the Israeli women who have dedicated themselves to bettering the lot of African asylum seeker women in south Tel Aviv.
  • Workshop with director Yigal Ezrati and actors at the Jaffa Theatre, a stage for Arab-Hebrew culture, that creates a unique theatrical language out of the rich human fabric that exists in Jaffa; followed by a conversation on the impact of theater in a multi-cultural world.
  • Travel to Moshav Zecharia.
  • Participate in a Kurdish/Moroccan/Yemenite/Indian cooking workshop with a local woman in her home, concluding with a scrumptious self-prepared lunch.
  • Travel to Lod.
  • Tour Lod, a mixed Arab-Jewish city, and engage in an honest conversation with Fatten el Zinati, the unlikely community activist who became the community center director and brought new vision to the neighborhood.
  • Return to Tel Aviv.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv
Day 5
Friday, November 13, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel.
  • Depart to Jerusalem.
  • Stop at the Haas Promenade, overlooking the city for an introduction to Jerusalem – 3000 years ago and today.
  • Meet artists in their studios/galleries in Hutzot HaYotzer and/or tour in the Bezalel Crafts Market.
  • Check in to the hotel.
  • Lunch on own and rest of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Kabbalat Shabbat.
  • Festive Shabbat dinner at the home of Jerusalem residents.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 6
Saturday/Shabbat, November 14, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Morning at leisure or time for prayer/attend a local synagogue for Shabbat morning services.
  • Shabbat lunch at the Fuchsberg Center.
  • A Historic Weave of Jerusalem using the Bible as a guide, walk to Mount Zion and continuing to the Jewish Quarter, with its archaeological remains that date back 3000 years to the days of the First Temple, including the Nea Church, the Biblical and Hasmonean remains in the open Cardo and the Broad Wall.
  • Havdallah overlooking the Old City walls.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 7
Sunday, November 15, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • On the way to Bethlehem stop at Rehov HaAnafa on the southern side of Gilo for an introduction to the maps of Jerusalem, followed by an overview of Bethlehem and surrounding towns, the Seam Zone Barrier (Separation Fence) and the complex road network into Jerusalem.
  • Meet the first woman mayor of Bethlehem, Vera Baboun, whose academic and political careers have broken new ground for Palestinian women; hear her perspective on the political situation.
  • Visit the Church of the Nativity.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Continue to Efrat and meet with Mayor Oded Revivi for a discussion about present-day Efrat and Gush Etzion – the range of communities, worldviews and ties to the land.
  • Drive to the Gush Etzion Junction and meet with the founders of the Shorashim – Roots project, Ali Abu Awwad and Shaul Judelman, for a grassroots dialogue and activism project with Palestinians and settlers.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 8
Monday, November 16, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Descend to the City of David for a guided visit through some of the newest archaeological finds in Jerusalem and explore the complex realities of contemporary geopolitical challenges interwoven with ancient archaeological finds.
  • With an archaeologist, discover the newest excavations around the Western Wall.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Proceed to Kiryat Ben-Gurion, the government precinct of the State of Israel, for a meeting with a Member of Knesset and his/her thinking on the “State of the State”.
  • World within a World: meeting and discussion with ultra-Orthodox Jews in Geula or Mea Shearim.
  • Dinner and evening on own.
Overnight: Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Day 9
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Check out of the hotel and depart hotel.
  • Visit and tour Rahat, the first and largest Bedouin city in the world.
  • Speaker: Transitions: The Bedouins in the Negev
  • Visit Sodastream Visitor’s Center, at the Idan HaNegev Industrial Park.
  • Lunch on own.
  • Proceed south.
  • Encounter with the Black Hebrews of Dimona, a spiritual group that began in Chicago based on a long tradition in Afro-American culture, which holds that they are the descendants of the ancient biblical Israelites. Sample a bit of their music culture which ranges from gospel to rap.
  • Proceed to the hotel and check in.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Ramon Inn, Mitzpeh Ramon
Day 10
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Mahktesh Ramon (Ramon Crater): various activities including a scenic walk and overview, the Visitors Center, hiking and/or jeep rides, geological formations.
  • Intertwined with wine and cheese-tasting along the Negev Wine Route “lone farms,” visit galleries and artisans who take inspiration from the desert landscapes.
  • Return to the hotel for rest and relaxation.
  • Depart for Yeruham for dinner with “Mevashlot”, a social project in which women host visitors in their homes for a meal of ethnic delicacies accompanied by stories from the community for a rich human, cultural and culinary experience.
  • Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Ramon Inn, Mitzpeh Ramon
Day 11
Thursday, November 19, 2020
  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out.
  • Proceed to the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in Sde Boker.
    • Speaker: Winning the War Against Desertification
    • Ancient methods for modern times (water): a modern-day version of the Nabatean floodwater collection system, Runoff Agroforestry Systems
  • Overlook from Ben Gurion’s grave to discuss: The Dream and the Reality.
  • Proceed to Be’er Sheva.
  • Walk along part of the Beer Sheva “ring trail” circling the city of Be’er Sheva that leads visitors to the various spectacular landscapes and sites around the city, such as the Negev Brigade Memorial, designed by internationally-renowned urban artist Dani Karavan.
  • Meetings with scientists at the Ben Gurion University Cyber Security Research Center. BGU and the Israel National Cyber Bureau have created a center for the protection of cyberspace, harnessing the university’s expertise to drive research and foster the development of cyber security technologies.
  • In-depth tour of Sderot, which has become the Israeli symbol of the Israel/Gaza conflict. Visit the Sderot police station, where there is an impressive museum of rockets that have fallen on the town.
  • Check in to day-use rooms in Ashkelon.
  • Farewell dinner in a chef’s restaurant en route to the airport.
  • Proceed to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight to the United States.
Overnight: In flight
Friday, November 20, 2020

*Program is subject to change, pending confirmations.

Price per person, based on double occupancy
Single occupancy

* Based on 20 full-paying participants.  Prices do not include flights


4 nights Tal Hotel, Tel Aviv
4 nights Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
2 nights Ramon Inn, Mitzpe Ramon
Day-use room, Harlington Hotel, Ashkelon


Land Price Includes:

  • Assistance upon arrival and departure at Ben Gurion Airport for group flight
  • One group transfer from and one transfer to Ben Gurion Airport
  • Licensed Israeli Government Tour Educator and trained by Makor – 11 days
  • All group Transportation in Israel on a private luxury bus – 10 days
  • Hotel Accommodations per above ** or similar, pending confirmation
  • All Site Admissions and programs as per the itinerary.
  • Meals
    • Breakfast daily
    • 2 lunches
      • Cooking workshop + lunch
      • Shabbat lunch
    • 5 dinners
      • Welcome dinner
      • Home hospitality Shabbat dinner
      • Dinner at the hotel in Mitzpe Ramon
      • Home hospitality dinner with Yerucham Women
      • Farewell dinner in Tel Aviv
  • Source Materials, Hat, Map
  • Water on bus daily – 3 bottles per person per day
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Tips for Guide and Driver

Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Meals on own and out of pocket expenses
  • Travel and Medical Insurance


Payment and Refund Schedule

Payment Schedule

Upon Registration — Deposit of $500 per participant

July 15, 2020— 50% of Total Payment

September 1, 2020 — Full Payment


Refund Schedule

Cancel Before July 15, 2020 — Full Refund

Cancel between July 15 and September 1, 2020 — 50% Refund

Cancel between September 1 and October 1, 2020 — 25% Refund

Cancel after October 1, 2020 — No Refund


For more information, please contact Robin at robin@igt.co.il


Travel Insurance:
We urge you to purchase cancellation insurance & supplemental medical coverage (which covers pre-existing conditions). This is a smart way to safeguard against life’s surprises.
We have made arrangements with SMS-Travel Insurance Center (Israel) of Omaha, Nebraska. SMS has over 25 years of experience as worldwide insurance brokers and can help you choose the policy that best meets your needs. Yonah Engel is our contact person.

Please note:

  • most insurance policies require purchase within 21 days of your first payment in order to receive maximum coverage (pre-existing conditions, bankruptcy insurance, etc).
  • even if you do not yet know the final trip cost (e.g. flights), write down the amount you do know – and then at a later date, we can amend the insurance premium.
  • trip dates are for the entire period away from home
  • trip costs are all pre-paid expenses (e.g. airfare + land costs)
Phone number: 1-402-404-5205
Mention promo code: IGT-MAKOR